Week of March 27-April 2

Rook"er*y,n. 1. a gathering place for certain gregarious birds, such as penguins. 2. the best place on the Web for Linux news, notes and reports from the field.
March 31

Vocalizations! "Unfortunately for those of us looking to find one company that will drive the Web industry, it's not going to be like the PC days. I don't foresee a situation where a few companies (such as Intel and Microsoft) have the same ability to set dominant standards that drive the entire business. Instead we'll see a proliferation of standards such as MP3 for music, Bluetooth in personal-area networking, Palm OS for organizers, and so on." Aaron Goldberg, from his Upshot column, "Hardware is an outdated idea" in UpsideToday.

A Lean, Clean (and Legal) Linux DVD Machine: InterVideo, a company specializing in PC digital video and audio, just announced that it has developed the "first legal DVD software solution for the Linux OS." Once the scene of Linux's biggest hack controversy to date (read about it in our pair of hacker/cyberfreedom pieces by Jason Kroll here and here), the Linux DVD space is now starting to become downright respectable. Said vice president of sales and marketing for InterVideo, Inc. "InterVideo has made a commitment to support the Linux community with digital audio and video products. LinDVD is the first product in a lineup that will ultimately include all of our Windows multimedia products." According to InterVideo, LinDVD will give Linux users access to a wide variety of multimedia options, from DVD movies, MPEG video content and Video CDs. The decoder/player includes integrated MPEG1 and MPEG2 file playback, a powerful VCD 2.0 player, and SVCD playback. Also included is a full, multi-channel Dolby Digital audio decoder will be included. The Linux DVD player, LinDVD, is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2000. "Late" in the second quarter.

Corel Kicks Tail: Judith O'Brien of Corel Corporation writes to let us know that Corel is kicking hindquarters and taking names as the up-n-coming Linux distribution. According to PCDATA, Corel's market share in the Linux OS US retail market has increased from 2.3% in November 1999 to 19.3% in February 2000. Said Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and CEO of Corel, "Access to alternatives in the marketplace is vital for healthy competition and it fosters innovation ... People are excited about what we have to offer. We look forward to continuing this momentum with the release of WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux--the first marquee application on Linux ..." Over the same period, Red Hat saw its market share shrink from 58.5% to 40.4%, while SuSE recorded an increase almost as dramatic as Corel's, with SuSE's market share rising from less than 1% to just over 7% of the US retail Linux market. TurboLinux saw modest gains in market share, while Caldera saw its market share actually cut in half from November 1999 to February 2000.

Linux and Windows Ready to Rumble in Embedded Space: Rick Lehrbaum of LinuxDevices wrote in to tell us about the new Whitepaper taking a look at the showdown between Linux and Windows in the embedded systems market. Far from being an obscure, tedious treatise on embedded technology, Rick's piece goes from "What's an Embedded System?" to a list of "10 Reasons why Linux will beat Windows in the Embedded Market", ranging from such standbys as "control" and "rapid innovation" to the obvious "Linux is cool" and "It's not from Microsoft". In between, Rick makes a great argument for Linux as an embedded OS, and his thoughts are certainly worth reading for anyone who hasn't yet dialed in to the man who is quickly becoming the patron saint of embedded Linux.

Clued-in/Clued-out "Linux is obviously what I'm really bullish about. You can twist it and bend it and cut it and slice it and dice it however you want, and you'll still have a stable operating system in the background." Piper Jaffray analyst Amir Ahari, talking about Linux and Windows 2000 in CNET.